88Nine Radio Milwaukee continues to dig deep with impactful – and potentially healing – Milwaukee stories and conversations. The organization’s latest effort is entitled "88Nine Presents: Invisible Lines," a six-episode multimedia series that features intimate conversations about race, segregation and prejudice.
The series debuts on Monday, May 14, but the trailer for the series dropped today and can be viewed here.
The videos explore some of the subtler aspects of living in Milwaukee as a person of color and / or LGBTQ+.
Episodes include brothers Darren and Vedale Hill talk about dress codes, "driving while Black" and being biracial; Amelia Roberts-Washington, an MPS student, reflects on her first racist experience; best friends Selma and Jeanette discuss a lack of queer spaces of color in Milwaukee; community activist Vaun Mayes analyzes the importance of memorial trees in communities of color; Dianné, a student at UW-Milwaukee studying medicine, opens up to her mother about her first time facing discriminatory language and Milwaukee black historian Reuben Harpole reminisces about Milwaukee and what the city needs to thrive in the future.
The tagline for the series "Milwaukee’s division is different for everyone" aptly describes the mission of the series. Often, the "invisible lines" in our city divide us, whether we are aware of them or not.
"The topic of racism and segregation come up a lot in Milwaukee, but what does that really mean? What does that feel like?" says Nate Imig, who is producing "Invisible Lines" with Vianca Fuster and Laura Dyan Kezman.
The segments are not narrated, rather conversations between Milwaukeeans, and do not follow a script or agenda.
"Allowing people to be in control of their own narratives is the strongest part of the series," says Fuster. "People get to tell their experiences about their lives and communities first-hand instead of what’s on the news."
88Nine started creating "Invisible Lines" about a year ago by hosting listening sessions with community leaders. The producers defined the show through these meetings and were introduced to possible subjects for the series. They also reached out to organizations to find participants and stumbled upon subjects organically.
"We were out on a different story, and we saw a group of people surrounding a ‘memorial tree’ and we approached the group, and just started talking," says Kezman.
Fuster says she refers to the series as "therapy for people of color in Milwaukee" because it provides a large platform and exposes conversations that were usually only had behind closed doors.
"We don't have an outlet to talk about these things – or always know how to," says Fuster. "So to invite people to engage in a no-holds-barred conversation about something we’ve lived our entire lives, but haven’t had anywhere to really discuss it, is therapy."
"Invisible Lines" is the fourth segment in an ongoing series called 88Nine Presents that closely examines harder-hitting issues.
"We hope our average listener might hear something they were not privy to before and perhaps – longterm – this changes the way people think. That it might make people see their neighbor on a more human level," says Imig.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.